(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Joe Pavelski opened the scoring with his third goal in two games and Logan Couture added the other as the Sharks hung on for a 2-1 win.
The San Jose Sharks are in familiar territory as they head home with a 2-0 series lead thanks to a 2-1 win over the L.A. Kings on Saturday night.
During the 2014 playoffs the Sharks held a 3-0 series lead against the Kings in the Western Conference quarterfinal and lost in seven games.
This series marks the third time the Sharks have taken a 2-0 series lead in a best of seven with two road wins. San Jose won its first two road games in the 1995 and 2013 conference quarterfinals.
Joe Pavelski opened the scoring with his third goal in two games and Logan Couture added the other as the Sharks led 2-0 through two periods.
Vincent Lecavalier got the Kings on the board with a power play goal with 5:01 remaining, but L.A. was unable to find the equalizer. Lecavalier's goal snapped the Kings' 77:41 scoreless stretch.
"Our execution wasn’t very good," said Milan Lucic. "As you saw 5-on-5 we weren’t able to get a goal, and not only that, not enough quality chances and we’re not making it hard enough on them in the defensive zone. We’re not getting enough traffic, we’re not getting enough second-chance opportunities. We’ve got to start playing our game and right now we’re not playing our game at all.
"We’ve got to stop playing with frustration and start using our emotion in the right way because frustration is a waste of emotion and we’ve got to go out there with determination and start playing our game."
San Jose has now won five of the last seven meetings between the two clubs. The physical play continued in Game 2 with both teams combining for 87 hits.
The series heads to San Jose for Game 3 on Monday. The Sharks struggled at home during the regular season finishing with an 18-20-3 record – only four teams had a worse record on home ice.
"The series is a long ways from being over," Couture said per CSN Bay Area. "I’m sure it’s going to be well documented how we played at home this year. They’re going to bring a very good effort in Game 3. We’ve got to match it and be better than them."
Martin Jones, who made 27 saves, becomes the second goaltender Sharks history to win his first two career postseason starts joining Wade Flaherty, per Elias Sports.
"We knew they were going to come with a push at the end there,” Jones told CSN Bay Area. “Our guys do such a good job of blocking shots and keeping them to the outside. They get the one power play goal with the traffic in front, but other than that we were great in front of our net tonight.
"We can enjoy it a little bit, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us still.”
Marian Gaborik returned after a 29 game absence due to a knee injury. The 34-year-old played 14:32 in the loss.
"Felt pretty good just need to get better and better, we have to be better overall, each of us and take our game to the next level," Gaborik said. "I think we’re beating ourselves out there. We have to correct a lot of things. We didn’t generate a whole lot of quality scoring chances.
"We have to have Jones work way more that he’s been working. We had pretty good surge at the end there but that’s too late. We have to regroup and go to San Jose and come back a tied series."